I cannot imagine my life without books. And not in that cheesy, overdramatic romantic way you tell your first love you can’t imagine living without them. Though I probably look at my books with the same stars in my eyes. But, no, my coexistence with words is more like my coexistence with breathing, or eating, or sleeping or blinking or… Well, you get the point. I can’t function without them. Reading and writing (words, in general) are so much a part of who I am that the pages of a book feel like an extension of myself.

Here’s a question — can you imagine life without reading? Not just books, magazines, or newspapers. But text messages, street signs, building/business names, food labels.

Literacy, especially in teens, is an important issue to Patchwork Press. Let’s look at some statistics, courtesy of BeginToRead.com:

  • 1 in 4 children in America grows up without learning to read
  • Literacy is a learned skill. Illiteracy is passed down from parents who can neither read nor write.
  • A study in 2009 showed 53% of 4th graders said they read recreationally “almost every day,” while only 20% of 8th graders could say the same.
  • According to UNICEF, “Nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women.”

Yeah. Let those statistics sink in. Because it’s startling.

Thanks to a group of awesome teachers at New Prague High School in Minnesota, Project Read a Lot, a nontraditional book club where students promote the books they read (and love) to other students in the school, is making a difference in teen literacy. The more than sixty members of the club host book talks about the titles they read and write book reviews, which are placed in the book and kept in the PRaL library.

How great does that program sound? (I know I wish I had something similar to it when I was back in high school. Most book recommendations I received from people my age included the phrase ‘just see the movie instead.’ Come oooonnnn.) Unfortunately for Project Read a Lot, no funding was provided for their club this year.

But Patchwork Press is helping out. PRaL has been contacting authors to donate books to the program — digital and paperback. And, I mean, who wouldn’t want to help out a wonderful program that makes reading exciting for teens? PWP has donated all of our current Young Adult titles to the program, and are SO SO SO thrilled to have been able to help out the passionate teachers who are running PRaL.

Want to get involved and donate a title? Contact Brittany Boll Elsen at bollbrittany@hotmail.com. Here is the official statement from Brittany and the cool bookish people over at PRaL:

Project Read a Lot, a teen literacy program, is in its third year at New Prague High School in Minnesota and has grown to more than 60 members! The most important concept of our group is that the books are promoted by the teens themselves. Members of the group write book reviews that are placed in the books and they also have to give book talks in the classroom. All students attending our high school are allowed to check out books from the Project Read a Lot room. The club holds monthly meetings to talk about books, fun right? Unfortunately, we have received no funding this year for our club so we have been contacting authors to donate books. If you are interested in donating please contact: bollbrittany@hotmail.com

Hello, hello and happy Thursday! Or better yet, happy cover reveal Thursday! Do you know how hard it is for me to keep a secret? Really hard. Ask my sister, and she’ll tell you that I have this problem with telling her what I’ve gotten her for Christmas or her birthday because I CANNOT CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT. It’s like the secrets are too big for me to keep in.

Which is why it’s been sooooo difficult to keep this cover hidden. Which cover is that, you ask? Entice! Wanna see it? Okay, here it is… *Drumroll*

Entice

EEP! Let us know what you think of the cover, image by Pieke Roelofs of Photo & Grime, for Entice, book #1.5 (an e-novella) in the Ignite series!

Synopsis:

With the aftertaste of Heaven still strong, Pen and Azael cloak themselves in their new demonic destinies, fighting for Lucifer against the angels. Pen, warring against former friends turned vengeful enemies, still struggles with defecting to Hell. But in one short battle, they go from forgotten to famous, thrust into the spotlight where she has no room for uncertainty.

Suddenly top-tiered demons, they’re tasked with seeing through hell’s new agenda: corrupting man. But tarnishing Eden isn’t as simple as they thought it would be, especially when they’re forced to work with another team of demons who are trying to claw their way up the ladder of power.

Add Entice on GoodReads and look for it on your e-reader November 19th!